R.I.P. Robert Hogan, the namesake of the Col. Hogan character on Hogan's Heroes

He played a helicopter pilot on 'M*A*S*H' and the love interest of Alice on 'Alice'.

The Everett Collection

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Robert Hogan as Colonel Robert Hogan? That sounds like perfect casting, doesn't it? It nearly happened and there was a good reason for the shared names.

Hogan's Heroes writer-creator Bernard Fein was a friend of Robert Hogan — he was such a pal that he named the lead character in honor of his actor friend. Fein even pushed to have Hogan play Hogan. However, at the time, Hogan's resume was a little thin. He had worked some guest roles on The Twilight Zone, 77 Sunset Strip and The Donna Reed Show, as well as soaps like General Hospital. But the network wanted a bigger name. CBS offered the part to Van Johnson. Of course, Bob Crane ended up with the gig.

The real-life Hogan must not have been too bitter about the lost role, as he turned up twice in Fein's Hogan's Heroes — in the episodes "Reservations Are Required" and "Crittendon's Commandos."

Over the next decade, Hogan popped up in small roles all over television, most frequently on The F.B.I. (Leonardo DiCaprio's character praises Hogan's work on that crime series in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Bright Promise

In 1974, Hogan scored one of his biggest roles to date, a recurring part on The Manhunter, a bounty hunter series set during the Great Depression. He was the sheriff to Ken Howard's bounty hunter.

In 1976, Hogan briefly landed on M*A*S*H as a helicopter pilot, the title character in "Smilin' Jack." Lt. "Smilin'" Jack Mitchell is hoping to become Pilot of the Year, you might recall.

Like The Manhunter, the series Richie Brockelman, Private Eye offered the Queens, New York, native a major role as the second fiddle — but the show similarly fizzled out quickly. Ditto Operation Petticoat, a military comedy that cast him alongside John Astin and Jamie Lee Curtis.

His role on Alice was intermittent but significant — Hogan played Greg Stemple, the love interest of Alice (Linda Lavin), even sharing Thanksgiving dinner with her.

A big lead may have eluded Hogan, but he worked on fantastic series for decades. He was a judge on Law & Order and a shipyard worker in the second season of The Wire.

On May 27, Hogan passed away in his coastal Maine home, his family announced. He was 87.

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TenTanToes 1 month ago
Geesh, how it should have been him as the lead, instead of icky looking Bob Crane.
Mrusso 3 months ago
Good actor. God bless Robert Hogan. MeTV and comet station for antenna TV are the best. So glad they still continue with hogans heroes!!! 🏆🏆🏆
MadreGrosso 3 months ago
Love watching this station. I often watch METV more than commercial tv. Thank you for providing these shows, wouldn’t miss Svengolie.
jacko3 3 months ago
Robert Hogan.. GOD Rest his Life & Soul ..... Amen .. Alleluia!
Wiseguy 3 months ago
He appeared twice during the fourth season of The Rockford Files, one of which was the two-parter that re-introduced the character of Richie Brockelman before the Brockelman series started.

One mistake above is that he appeared on the revamped second season of Operation Petticoat after John Astin and Jamie Lee Curtis were dumped.
Jon 3 months ago
He also appeared on the premiere episode of BARNABY JONES, where his character and Bradford Dillman's both appeared.
MarkSpeck Jon 3 months ago
That was the first of six episodes over the course of the series for Hogan, who was involved in all the criminal action in the first three. The fourth one, he was Barnaby's client. The last two, he was a suspect in the murder of his wife in each episode, but wasn't the real killer.

And since Bradford Dillman was mentioned, this was the first of five Barnaby Jones episodes for him, playing the main villain in each one.
DanielZabo 3 months ago
He was the helicopter pilot that was trying to break the record for rescuing injured soldiers or something like that. But I think dastardly Dan beat him in the end when B.J. & Hawkeye grounded him?
MadMadMadWorld DanielZabo 3 months ago
DANGEROUS Dan! "Dastardly" is too weird an adjective for him, or anyone! I never forgot Robert Hogan on this memorable M*A*S*H episode! He was superb! A big loss for those numerous and under-rated character actors who can do almost any role, drama or comedy!
R.I.P. to Robert Hogan. 1933-2021.
One great nugget from that episode was Hogan betting Col. Potter on throwing a dart (if I remember correctly). Very funny stuff, and his character lost to "Dangerous Dan" who pulled out another 3 injured soldiers to pass Hogan.
"Smilin' Jack" (Mitchell) episode from Feb. 3, 1976.
JHP DanielZabo 3 months ago
yeah there wasn't an orange that was safe during that MASH ep
KennethPotts 3 months ago
Don't forget his roll on Peyton Place as Tom the town's pastor with issues of his own
UTZAAKE 3 months ago
Damn. Robert Hogan played the older brother of Frank Sobotka (Chris Bauer), the primary character in Season Two of HBO's The Wire.
OldSkool56 3 months ago
And nowe I'm really confused 🤔
teire 3 months ago
Thanking him for so many memorable performances. On top of that he was a very handsome man. Condolences to his family.
Sway 3 months ago
Another familiar face from TV. RIP Robert Hogan.
Andybandit 3 months ago
How sad how all these good actors and actresses from MeTV are passing away. One day MeTV should have a tribute to these people.
LoveMETV22 Andybandit 3 months ago
It seems they did in the past ."MeTV pays tribute to", Dawn Wells, Cloris Leachman, (recently) and others before that. They would air select episodes. I agree with your comment.
LoveMETV22 LoveMETV22 3 months ago
PS- However it may not be possible from a scheduling perspective (to air select episodes). They do have the banners on commercial breaks paying tribute to the actors. They also have the video clips that come up when you select their stories. So they are paying tribute in a way.
JHP LoveMETV22 3 months ago
agree - it depends on whats in the dumpster of old tv
DethBiz 3 months ago
RIP Mr. Hogan. Will always remember him from the Gunsmoke Old Man episode. Really good episode.
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Interesting article. I remember his "Smilin' Jack" episode on M*A*S*H. I didn't know he had appeared on Alice (good show,imo) though. R.I.P. Robert Hogan.
cperrynaples 3 months ago
Interesting that his most steady work was on soap operas! I definitely remember him on Another World!
JustGeri cperrynaples 3 months ago
That was my first thought when seeing headline. I liked him and his character.
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